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Herman The Cat

Scenic River Cruise Coronavirus Cancellation Policy

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Herman The Cat said:

DJH — that’s very interesting. My TA specifically asked them and the Scenic US office who said about 70% Australians/New Zealanders. Well, maybe it’s mostly NZ! Scenic is really not that known in the US. Most opting for a luxury river cruise in the US pick Tauck or Crystal. With Tauck, everyone we know said it was about 95% Americans and mostly from the east coast. Crystal didn’t include air and was approximately the same price as Scenic, whereas Scenic included air.  We opted for Scenic because we wanted more variety in the passenger mix and it was a better deal. [For what it’s worth, Crystal is offering cash refund or 125% FCC. I guess we made the wrong decision. 🙄]

 

Herman, I have been told by other Scenic fans that the probable reason for the lack of Aussies was the fact that it was a short trip from Amsterdam to Basel.  Apparently, most Australians prefer to the lengthier cruises.

 

I sort of understand that, but we obviously didn't fly to Europe for 7 days, we also had two weeks land touring on either side.  It was our first river cruise and we didn't want to book a longer one first off.   I must say that while I didn't mind it, my husband wasn't that impressed and I would struggle to get him to do another.

 

I didn't really think it was the "5 star luxury" that it is billed as.  While it was pleasant and enjoyable, I have had far better food and service in a 5 star hotel for half the price.  The scenery along the Rhine made it worthwhile for me though.

 

I hope you enjoy yours when you finally get to go.

Edited by djh1959

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Our cruise was in May.  I emailed them on 15 April requesting a refund for my "suspended" cruise and received an email response yesterday.

They refused my request for a refund on my "postponed" cruise citing force majeure.

I am yet to respond.

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I’m sorry to hear that. They really are playing games...and grasping at straws. My TA and I talked about that because I was curious when this ordeal started if that would apply and they spoke to their lawyer.  Any lawyer here will tell you that force majeur doesn’t mean they have no liability. They are supposed to return your money...they don’t get to keep it. Just terrible...taking advantage of customers.

 

As an example, the other day my TA sent me this language that one of their hotel booking companies used  “Please note: if a booking is eligible for the force majeure  it does not mean that XXXXX is proactively cancelling the booking  (as we are, however, doing for destinations that are closed). Instead, the global force majeure simply means that clients can – if they choose to – cancel a booking and receive a full refund without a cancellation charge.” Obviously a different type of company but they chose to handle it in a proper manner.

 

Might be worth a quick call to the lawyer in Australia who did the class action lawsuit posted in another recent thread.

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I think I’ve worked out why we aren’t seeing much U.K. input, I think it’s to do with consumer law here. CA

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Just now, Canal archive said:

I think I’ve worked out why we aren’t seeing much U.K. input, I think it’s to do with consumer law here. CA

That could well be. Terms and conditions are likely to be different from Australia and especially the North-American market in the first place, but EU laws have also been confirmed as remaining in place, despite the heavy toll it will have on the industry. And Britain is still part of this.

 

notamermaid

 

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UK Here.  They are doing the same thing to us.  110% voucher.  That's not legal here, but they don't seem to care.  We've filed a dispute with our credit card.

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Can you post what the result is with your credit card company? I was thinking of disputing the charge as well. I’m really concerned we haven’t heard a word from Scenic regarding rebooking . We were scheduled to depart May 13 from Budapest. I was ok with a credit for a future cruise, however, I’m concerned if they go out of business.. then what? I’m also concerned if they even have availability for when I want to travel in 2021.  My TA said no one is answering the phones at Scenic or responding to emails. Scenic  sent out one generic email that they are receiving an unprecedented number of calls. No kidding.  To add insult to injury the travel insurance company I purchased insurance with (Generali) won’t answer their phones or respond to emails. I’m just trying to find out if they can give me a voucher or credit since I don’t know what our new travel dates are. I’ve lost total confidence in the travel industry by the lack of customer service from Scenic and Generali. 

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BBC phone in programme (radio 4) just on now about cruise refunds, basically if you want a full refund it is you right although the worry is the length of time you may have to wait, this is where you contact the ombudsman or maybe the BBC. Riviera paid up after they got on their case. Some companies are implying that they are adhering to, non existent new ATOL scheme by refusing a refund. Most lines both river and ocean are offering incentives i.e. 125% value, or exchange  with a family member. Evidently there is a lot of discussion on how the companies can go forward. CA

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Thank you for the info, not sure what ABTA says, but here in Germany we have the Würzburger Tabelle, which is a kind of list that states what refunds you are entitled to for what scenario. It says that if the cruise line cancels and they only offer a voucher, you do not have to accept it, you can ask for a refund, which should be paid out within 14 days. In Germany, force majeure does not entitle the cruise company to do as they please per se. In these difficult times, I understand the problems of the operators and I would be willing to let my operator keep my money, but if it is not an option I would insist on getting my money back. As I said, the EU ruling still stands as of end of April.

 

I do not like this playing for time, i.e. get close to the cruise date and then say it is not happening and offer a voucher/re-book.

 

notamermaid

 

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I have had a quick look on the ABTA website: https://www.abta.com/news/coronavirus-outbreak

 

Excerpt: "If you booked a package holiday, you are entitled to a refund. We completely understand that for those customers that would prefer a refund to rebooking, they may feel frustrated and concerned by the amount of time it is taking. In normal circumstances a refund should be paid within 14 days. But these are not normal circumstances and the 14 day rule is simply impossible for many companies to adhere to."

 

I hope this is helpful.

 

notamermaid

 

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14 hours ago, usctrojangal said:

Can you post what the result is with your credit card company?

 

The bank took information about what happened, and of our correspondence with Scenic and that they have not offered the refund.  The dispute documents go to Mastercard.  They say we should have a credit to our account in a few days.  The company has 45 days to respond to the dispute.  They can only overturn the dispute if they have documentation to say the terms of our agreement were that they don't have to give a refund in this case.  So I'm presuming we'll get to keep the refund, because they won't be able to provide that documentation, since that's not in the terms of the booking.

 

I know it's tough for them, but they can't simply not respond to the demand when it's the law here that they have to offer the refund in 14 days.  I would have been happier if they said they didn't have the funds, and offered a time line, but they simply refused, and then stopped answering follow ups.

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19 hours ago, usctrojangal said:

Can you post what the result is with your credit card company? I was thinking of disputing the charge as well. I’m really concerned we haven’t heard a word from Scenic regarding rebooking . We were scheduled to depart May 13 from Budapest. I was ok with a credit for a future cruise, however, I’m concerned if they go out of business.. then what? I’m also concerned if they even have availability for when I want to travel in 2021.  My TA said no one is answering the phones at Scenic or responding to emails. Scenic  sent out one generic email that they are receiving an unprecedented number of calls. No kidding.  To add insult to injury the travel insurance company I purchased insurance with (Generali) won’t answer their phones or respond to emails. I’m just trying to find out if they can give me a voucher or credit since I don’t know what our new travel dates are. I’ve lost total confidence in the travel industry by the lack of customer service from Scenic and Generali. 

 

USCTrojanGal...

Your TA should be able to answer the insurance stuff easily.

Most travel insurance contains a provision on “financial insolvency”. Check which plan you have (though they do differ by state).  Here is a link to Generali...https://www.generalitravelinsurance.com/view-travel-insurance-plans.html

If you scroll down to “Features” it lists financial insolvency. Click the tiny question mark on the right side etc. to get more info. 

The Scenic website also does a good job with availability, so go to ScenicUSA.com and you should be able to get a general sense of what is available.

The website also lists the hours (right top) “contact us”. Looks like they are there starting at 10am. My TA said the wait times were very long, so they just had it on speakerphone while they did other things. It took hours. 

You might want to consider pressing your TA a bit more on this to help you. These companies (Scenic and Generali) are dealing with unprecedented volume and issues so I wouldn’t lose faith in the industry as a whole. I really suggest getting your TA on it...these are the times when good TAs are really invaluable and can really help.

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I have spoken with Scenic multiple times to no avail.  They say they are working on it and to talk to my travel agent.She has not gotten a definitive response either.  Yesterday, Scenics agent chastised me for wanting an answer.  He told me I was rushing them.  It would take ten days.  When I told him it had been 5 weeks, he said I still had to wait.  Very poor customer service.

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Update in case anyone is still stuck;  Scenic finally offered a refund in June, and we received it in the bank about 2 weeks later, Mid June.  Our credit card dispute was resolved, and the charge went back on the card.  So we ended up with our money back after about 2 months of continual follow ups demanding refund.

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Scenic Cruise lines cancelled our cruise on June 1st.  I was notified that I could get a future cruise credit for my deposit of $4028 or a refund of the deposit less $500. I choose the later and my travel agent notified Scenic of our choice on June 2nd.  It is now July 23rd and we still have not seen our refund despite numerous phone calls and emails to the customer care department at Scenic.  There is no excuse for a cruise company holding on to a deposit this long. I had a Windstar cruise cancelled in April and we received a full refund for our deposit within a week.

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We were booked on Scenic Elipse for Sept. and have had a deposit of over 4K since Feb. On the first of June, Scenic  cancelled the cruise and now we are in a fight with them to get over deposit refunded.  All of the major top tier cruise lines are refunding deposits except for Scenic.  Myself and my TA have attempted to call them numerous times and emails go unanswered. Scenic is holding our deposit money in an attempt to show a better cash flow.  If they need cash that bad, then this company is in bad shape.  Bottom line, did not deal with this cruise line.

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On 7/23/2020 at 6:05 PM, Steve26460 said:

We were booked on Scenic Elipse for Sept. and have had a deposit of over 4K since Feb. On the first of June, Scenic  cancelled the cruise and now we are in a fight with them to get over deposit refunded.  All of the major top tier cruise lines are refunding deposits except for Scenic.  Myself and my TA have attempted to call them numerous times and emails go unanswered. Scenic is holding our deposit money in an attempt to show a better cash flow.  If they need cash that bad, then this company is in bad shape.  Bottom line, did not deal with this cruise line.

We just got the same news for our September cruise on Scenic.

110% FTC was offered.

Our 2021 is to uncertain to book a trip for.

 

Can I get a FULL refund if I press the issue? 

Has anyone from the US done it successfully? 

 

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Good luck. I've been fighting with them since May and still haven't got back a penny.  Their last offer was to refund about a half of my deposit but that would take 90 days to be processed and that was after I notified Scenic that I was seeking legal action.  

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Keep pushing.  A full refund is possible.  Scenic gagged me so I won't share more.

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As I’ve said before apart from everything else bombard the boss both in whatever country you come from and Glen Moran in Switzerland and this is from a Scenic fan. You have a challenge in the USA & Canada with your laws stick in there and good luck. CA

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3 hours ago, Canal archive said:

As I’ve said before apart from everything else bombard the boss both in whatever country you come from and Glen Moran in Switzerland and this is from a Scenic fan. You have a challenge in the USA & Canada with your laws stick in there and good luck. CA

 

From what I've been reading on the Azamara board, the vaunted UK traveler protections haven't turned out to be worth much in this pandemic.  ABTA has waived enforcement to save the industry.  But in the US people who booked with Amex have had great success in disputing the charges.

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10 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

From what I've been reading on the Azamara board, the vaunted UK traveler protections haven't turned out to be worth much in this pandemic.  ABTA has waived enforcement to save the industry.  But in the US people who booked with Amex have had great success in disputing the charges.


I suggest you may want to do a little more research before making such a sweeping statement. The comments of a few people on Cruise Critic Azamara board is hardly a true picture of the situation.

 

ABTA has many responsibilities, although it’s main responsibility is to assist travellers  when a bonded travel company goes out of business, as in the case of Thomas Cook. There are also certain rules that it’s members have to abide by, including those relating to refunds.
 

We do have credit cards in the U.K. e.g. MasterCard, Visa, Amex and they give us similar protection to those afforded to US citizens. I know of several people locally who have received refunds, during the pandemic, via their credit card provider.

 

If a UK citizen believes they have been treated unfairly by a company during the pandemic, or at any time, they should report them to the CMA (Competition & Markets Authority), via the online form.

 

 

 

  

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